The Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS® announced this week that they plan to follow up a banner year of community service across the Middle Tennessee region by repeating their achievements and improving upon them even further.
MTAR is a not-for-profit trade association for Real Estate professionals, currently serving 1,500 members as well as the communities in Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Moore, and Rutherford Counties.
“MTAR has a two-part commitment to its communities; not only do we ensure that our REALTOR® members are the most educated and capable Real Estate agents available, but we also engage our members in actively contributing to their communities through charitable projects during the year” noted 2010 MTAR President Dave Patton of Prudential Rowland Real Estate in Murfreesboro.
“2009 has been a monumental year for MTAR in both of those areas, and we’re excited about keeping that momentum going and growing into 2010”.
In 2009, while many established charity fundraising events faltered to due to an increasingly thrifty public, MTAR was still able to raise money for several of its regular charities.
“The 32nd Annual Bill Carey Tournament has been phenomenal in raising funds for the American Diabetes Association” noted 2010 MTAR Public Relations Chairman Marty Holder of Exit Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro.
“While people in other parts of America were cutting back on their charitable giving, the Bill Carey Tournament has had its strongest support ever during the last three years. Middle Tennesseans have shown that they’re very giving people and are willing to support causes they believe in. That’s why our Right Start Golf Tournament, which benefits the Coffee County Readers of Tomorrow program, raised more money this year than any year before it. Lots of kids in Manchester and Tullahoma will be able to receive free books due to the generosity of our events’ supporters,” Holder added.
Furthermore, both of these events served to raise record amounts of funds for MTAR’s scholarship program, which provides tuition assistance to area High School seniors who plan to attend college at MTSU, Motlow, or a Tennessee Technology Center Campus.
In addition to its fundraising efforts, MTAR was able to assist in several community outreach programs. Local REALTORS® sponsored the Winchester “Firepups” Fire Prevention Plan, collected toys and care packages for children who lost their homes in Rutherford County’s Good Friday tornados, donated almost 5,000 trees to students across 7 counties for Arbor Day, and held a canned food drive to benefit the Food Banks of Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, and Rutherford Counties for Thanksgiving.
“REALTORS® are dedicated to being involved and giving back to the people that we work and live with; a strong real estate market comes from a strong community, and we want to see everyone come out ahead” noted Holder. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done this year, and are fully planning to exceed this year’s achievements in the year ahead.”
2009 also saw MTAR increasing its members’ value to the home-buying public through increasing educational opportunities to both members and consumers. MTAR members were given the opportunity to continue their Real Estate educations by earning two new designations, the NAR Green Designation and the SFR Certification.
Green designated REALTORS® receive special training in meeting the needs of a growing number of environmentally conscious consumers who are looking for properties that fit their lifestyle; SFR (or “Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource”) classes provided MTAR members with specialized training in helping clients with especially complex home transactions.
For the public, MTAR also offered an expanded “American Dream Homeownership Fair”, which gave prospective homebuyers an opportunity to meet with professionals in the mortgage, home staging, pest control, appraisal, credit advising, and remodeling industries, amongst others.
“We’re very happy with how the Homeownership Fair turned out this year” noted MTAR President Patton. “MTAR was able to increase the scope of the Fair year, providing even more opportunities for people who are thinking about purchasing their first home to speak with experts that can help in that process. The Homebuyer Tax Credit has so many people talking about finally getting off the fence and investing in their own piece of the American Dream; we want to make sure that those consumers are educated and prepared for all of what that entails. Providing the Homebuyer Fair to the public and more educational opportunities for our members has been a winning strategy this year that we will continue to build on in 2010.”